Sunrun vs SolarCity

Sunrun and SolarCity are two of the largest, most recognizable companies in the solar industry. Both of these solar giants have been in business for more than a decade and have helped hundreds of thousands of customers switch to solar. While Sunrun and SolarCity are somewhat similar in terms of what they offer, there are a few important differences to note.
Sunrun logo verified_user
#2 Sunrun
8.9 Overall Score
3.6
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(1,446)
SolarCity logo
#47 SolarCity
4.4 Overall Score
2.6
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(672)

Overview

Sunrun

SolarCity

Best Panels Available
Best Panels Available
Canadian Solar
SolarCity
Best Inverter Available
Best Inverter Available
SolarEdge
SolarCity
Workmanship Warranty
Workmanship Warranty
20 Years
10 Years
Equipment Warranty
Equipment Warranty
25 Years
20 Years
Payment Options Available
Payment Options Available
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Buy
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Lease
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Loan
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PPA
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Buy
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Lease
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Loan
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PPA
Number of States Serviced
Number of States Serviced
19
20
Time In Business
Time In Business
12 Years
13 Years

Ratings

Sunrun

SolarCity

Overall Score
Overall Score
8.9 of 10
4.4 of 10
Review Score
Review Score
3.6
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2.6
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Value for Money
Value for Money
3.1
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2.4
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Quality of Product or Service
Quality of Product or Service
3.1
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2.4
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Customer Service
Customer Service
3.1
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2.1
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Company Trustworthiness
Company Trustworthiness
3.1
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2.1
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Likely to Recommend
Likely to Recommend
6.0 of 10
2.7 of 10

Reviews

Sunrun

SolarCity

Number of Reviews
Number of Reviews
1,446
672
Review Breakdown
Review Breakdown
3.6
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5 star
46%
4 star
17%
3 star
7%
2 star
6%
1 star
23%
2.6
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5 star
31%
4 star
11%
3 star
3%
2 star
7%
1 star
48%

Reviews for Sunrun

Helpful Favorable Review

Verified Customer

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Anonymous
November 18th, 2019 Oakland Gardens, NY DETAILS
Value for your money
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Quality of product or service
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Customer service
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Company trustworthiness
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The members are very professional. I had a very good experience doing business with them. The installation process went very well. They arrived on time. They were professional. They answered my questions and were considerate. They cleaned and explained to me what was involved. I was very happy with the overall experience. It has operated flawlessly. They did all the hard work, I just had to approve it and the whole experience was painless and went extremely well.


Helpful Critical Review

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Sl
December 3rd, 2019 San Gabriel, CA DETAILS
Value for your money
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Quality of product or service
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Customer service
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Company trustworthiness
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Figured Costco would use companies with good customer service. I was wrong. Would nit recomment to any of my friends who are now happy with other companies. The larger the company often times means less customer support.


Reviews for SolarCity

Helpful Favorable Review

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Jared
April 22nd, 2019 Bothell, WA DETAILS
Value for your money
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Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar
Customer service
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Company trustworthiness
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Overall my experience with SolarCity/Tesla has been amazing. Great customer service every time I've called to get a status update or help move the process forward. Installers that came out were contracted (around March 2019) and did an amazing job. SolarCity/Tesla upgraded me to the newest panel for free as well due to supply issues (SC330 instead of SC320), and my panels are doing amazingly!


Helpful Critical Review

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John Pugliese
October 28th, 2019 Hope, RI DETAILS
Value for your money
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Quality of product or service
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Customer service
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Company trustworthiness
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Don't get involved with SolarCity/Tesla. It will only cost you money. You will save nothing. If you decide to sell your home, the 20 year contract is considered a lease and may disqualify a potential buyer. DON'T GET INVOLVED. Keep your current electric company and stop using so much electricity. Shut off the lights.....


The Final Word

Availability
Sunrun and SolarCity both provide solar services in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Washington D.C. Sunrun also operates in Florida, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico, while SolarCity does not. However, SolarCity offers service in Oregon and Washington, while Sunrun does not.

Payment Options
Both Sunrun and SolarCity offer a variety of ways for customers to get a solar energy system on their roof, including outright purchases, loans, leases, and power purchase agreements (PPAs). Sunrun has a bit of an edge in terms of solar leasing and PPA agreements, as the company pioneered those options and made them a large part of its business model today.

Equipment
Sunrun utilizes high-quality equipment from reputable manufacturers such as Canadian Solar and SolarEdge for its projects, while SolarCity manufactures its own solar equipment, including Tesla’s Solar Roof product, which is a unique option within the industry.

Installations
While Sunrun performs most of its solar installations with its own crews, the company will occasionally outsource installations on remote homes to third parties, which may lead to variance in workmanship quality and overall experience. SolarCity, on the other hand, does not outsource any of its installations, but some customers have reported problems with delayed and incorrect installations.

Warranties
With up to a 25-year equipment warranty and a 20-year workmanship warranty, Sunrun offers lengthier product and labor coverage than SolarCity, which provides a 20-year equipment warranty and a 10-year workmanship warranty.

Battery Storage
Both Sunrun and SolarCity offer battery storage options. Sunrun’s battery storage option is called Brightbox, and it can be purchased or leased. SolarCity provides Tesla Powerwall batteries, which are compact and made to seamlessly integrate with other SolarCity equipment, but must be purchased; there is no lease option.

Referral Program
Sunrun and SolarCity both offer a referral program. Sunrun pays customers $350 for each friend they refer to the company, while SolarCity offers a $250 referral payout.

Recommendation
Sunrun and SolarCity offer similar payment options and battery storage selection. Sunrun has a bigger service area than SolarCity, offers longer equipment and workmanship warranties, and provides a larger referral bonus. For these reasons, Sunrun is recommended over SolarCity for individuals who live within the company’s operational area.

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